Kat's Reviews > The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Apr 09, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: audiobook, ya-fiction, printz, fantasy
Read from March 22 to 30, 2012

Every cold November on the fictional island of Thisby, tourists and locals gather for the Scorpio Races. But it's no ordinary race, as these are no ordinary horses. They are capaill uisce (pronounced CAP-ul ISH-ka), commonly known on the island as water horses, and they are deadly and wild horse-like creatures captured from the sea and brought to race on the shore as spectator sport. During training and racing, it's not uncommon for them to kill each other, their riders, or any other unfortunate soul that gets in their way.

19-year-old orphan Sean Kendrick is a gifted rider and horse whisperer, and he's able to tame the water horses in a way like no other. He's a four-time winner of the Scorpio Races, and he intends to win again so he can finally buy freedom for himself and his water horse Corr from the callous Mr. Malvern's stables. However, 17-year-old Kate "Puck" Connelly is getting in the way. Puck, also an orphan thanks to the capaill uisce , lives with her two brothers in a small cottage, struggling to get by. In an effort to save the house, she hatches a seemingly-impossible plan to enter and somehow win the Scorpio Races with her land horse, Dove. Throw in the fact that she's the first female to ever enter the race, and watch the drama unfold. The chapters alternate between Sean and Puck as they prepare for the race with seemingly endless obstacles in front of them. Who will win? Who will live?

It was actually sort of weird reading this and knowing that it wasn't a trilogy-opener like everything else these days, and that it would actually wrap up in the end. I've heard people describe this as a dystopian novel, but I'd have to disagree. The setting just feels like a drizzly, timeless Celtic island lacking in modern conveniences, and the mythical water horses make it a fantasy more than anything else. Overall, it's a dark, somewhat quiet tale of standing up for the little guy or gal, with just a touch of romance.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Gayle I loved this book- it didn't do it for you? I thought the language was lovely and the story sort of dreamy. Eliza loved it too- for the 10 yo perspective!

message 2: by Kat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat I'm pretty tough when it comes to giving out stars, so I usually give 2 stars to books that I find "just OK". I save the 4 and 5 stars for books that knock my socks off so I can easily go back and find them later. I guess this one is more like 2.5 stars for me...I did think that the premise was unique. Maybe it was just the narration of the audiobook, which I know ends up influencing my impressions sometimes, but it just seemed so dreary and a bit slow.
Did you feel like it was dystopian? I didn't really get much of that vibe.

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